Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bullying is NOT Okay

(I realize certain posts are not read as widely as others - by a long shot. However, I think this particular topic is timely, with school in once again.)

When I was a girl, I wanted to take ballet lessons. These were the only dance classes taught in my hometown. The ballet room windows overlooked the arena ice, and I would watch them practice ballet as I practiced figure skating. 

I loved to dance, anyway, and was lucky enough to have one ballet class at age 17. My mother had made friends with a dance teacher in another state, and we were visiting on a class night. (Tooting my own horn, the teacher could not believe it was my first ballet class.) To this day, I love to dance and would love to take classes.

Due to my love of dance, I watch all the dancing shows on television, even "Dance Moms," although I thoroughly dislike Abby Lee Miller's treatment of people. My favorite cast member was Chloe Lukasiak, and I was very unhappy about the bullying she endured from Miss Miller who throws digs at Chloe even now that she has left the show. I now follow Chloe on Twitter and YouTube to watch her dance.

It was on Twitter that I learned that Chloe had to have surgery due to a medical issue that was starting to cause her face to become misshapen. It broke my heart to listen to Chloe talk about the surgery and how even adults had been quite rude about her face. 

Please follow the link to watch Chloe's video and see how much the rude comments hurt her feelings. 

Photo is from the video linked above.
I was the object of bullying as a girl. One third grader started to make my life miserable when I was in first grade. She said I was spreading stories about her, but I had no idea who she even was! She stopped, finally, when I was in fifth grade. I think she felt bad that my father had died; too bad her posse did not feel the same way. Until I graduated, I still dreaded physical education class, because of the locker room - some of the members of my class had joined the posse when we were in elementary school.

As a little figure skater, other older skaters locked me into my skating locker more than once. These are the half-size ones, so it was tight in there. Thankfully, someone would come looking for me and open my locker for me.

Those feelings never leave you. I did my best, as a Girl Scout leader with the Brownie age-level - first through third grade - to stop any bullying behavior I saw. I refused to move to the Junior age-level, though, because I could not tolerate the cliques that formed when the girls moved into third grade. So, I stayed with the little ones, and I led older girls, too - Cadettes, Seniors, and Studio 2-B. (If you have not heard of Studio 2-B, I am not surprised. It only existed for a couple of years.)

As usual, I am up on a soap box. Please, parents, try to teach your child/ren to be kind to each other. Help them to understand that diversity is what makes the world work. I love this piece of dialogue from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).

I suppose some bullies never grow up, but parents can teach their children from a young age how to treat people. It reminds me of this poem:

Image Source: FineArtAmerica
School is in.